Apni 2011 Newsletter

Another busy year has passed, and it’s time for our annual newsletter, with the exiting opportunity for readers to win one of our wonderful raffle prizes – apologies for members who object to having raffle tickets enclosed with their newsletter, but do please remember this plays an important part in raising much needed funds with our running costs. If anyone would like further supplies of raffle tickets, please contact the office.

Readers will be aware that post natal depression has been a topic with many newspapers and magazines during the last year. The Association is still contacted and used as a primary sourcefor information, facts and figures relating to post natal depression. APNI is considered a respected valuable source for the media to use. The Association is often contacted by TV and radio stations to ensure that stories or news bulletins are portrayed accurately. We are however, aware there are some sources of media that use their own method of enquiry, which may bring into question a difference of opinion for incident rates of post natal depression. As an Organisation, we are delighted to know that post natal depression is starting to gain much greater public knowledge, acceptance and understanding, but we would ask that readers not to feel alarmed if reading a story that has been ‘sensationalised’.

Please remember, APNI staff are always available to answer any questions you may have – we cannot guarantee that we have all of the answers you are looking
for – but if we are unable to answer specific enquiries, we will ensure that you are directed to The Association recommends reading of a new research study that has been listed on the Boots MDwebsite. Shreya Dave an Epidemiologist from the Medical Research Council, examined 89,957 family records at GP surgeries over a period of 14 years and identified mothers and fathers diagnosed with depression during the first 12 years of parenthood. Post natal depression was identified in this study, and highlights some key issues. APNI would be interested to hear your feedback on this research.


McCarter joined our office staff in September 2008 and has been a great contributor to us since then. Many of you may have spoken with Rachel on the phone or corresponded by letter or e-mail.

Rachel really enjoyed the work at the office from when she started and she was not only good at helping distressed mums but also at helping us clear and organise our office so that things could run efficiently. We were pleased to hear that Rachel has been accepted onto a PGCE course as she has been working part-time as a Drama teacher whilst working with APNI and clearly enjoys teaching. However we are very sad that Rachel is leaving the office but she has promised
that she will come back during uni holidays and help organise the office and cheer us up at the same time !!!

We wish Rachel the very best of luck with her course and thank her for all her hard work at the office which has been much appreciated.

Jenny Weeks is our latest team member to join the Association – Jenny says – “I started work with APNI in September 2010. I am a mum of two small girls, Amber and Phoebe who are 2 years and 7 months, so I have my hands full!

I live in Richmond and enjoy cycling, horse riding and films. I also make scented candles in my spare time, using essential oils. I am very much enjoying working here and look forward to speaking to some of you soon”. The Association takes opportunity of welcoming Jenny, and hope callers will welcome our new arrival when contacting the office.


Every year we ask mums to nominate their volunteer to receive a floral tribute from the Association as the “unsung hero” with their letter of thanks printed. This year Lisa Clarke nominated her volunteer Alison Horne to receive the Linda Page “unsung hero” award. We take great delight in printing Lisa’s letter of thanks for Alison’s support.

‘I first got in touch with the APNI after the birth of my third child Morgan. You put me in touch with one of your volunteers – Alison
Horne. I first spoke to Alison when Morgan was about 10 months old. We had shared a similar experience in that we had both suffered with puerperal psychosis. There were times I was feeling very desperate.

However, over the next few months, I received fantastic treatment and slowly but surely started to feel normal again. I had regular contact with a psychiatrist, and
was assigned a CPN once discharged from hospital.

Throughout all of this time, Alison kept in contact via phone calls, sometimes twice weekly, letter, cards and emails. I strongly believe Alison was instrumental in my
recovery, and even though we live about 300 miles from each other, we have met twice, are still in regular contact and have become very good friends.

Morgan will be 4 this October and seems to have come through the whole trauma unharmed. We have now got a strong bond between us, and he is very much loved by me, his dad and his two older sisters.

In the meantime, I would love to become involved with APNI, helping in any way that I can. I feel that my experience of PND was the darkest period in my life, but I would like to support other women – just as Alison supported me’.

If you would like to nominate your volunteer as your unsung hero, and have your letter of thanks printed, with a floral tribute sent – do please send in your letter – one volunteer will be picked out of the hat.

The Association reviews books that we feel may be of interest or help for our readers. This year we have two reviews for your consideration – one book written by author Caroline Bett (readers may recall Caroline has written quite a few books),and one book of illustrated poems written and illustrated by Lucian Eyers (we will
be listing one poem for you to read, to give an idea of the work)

RELENTLESS by Caroline Betts – availablefrom Amazon, priced £10 Caroline’s book is presented in diary like form and highlights all of the difficulties that come along with pregnancy and transition into motherhood. In parts this book portrays humour about the traumas of life, with other parts displaying the emotional distress of juggling with your professional identity during motherhood. Most readers will be able to relate to many of the issues that Caroline highlights with sensitivity.

THE ANGEL BOOK OF HOURS written and illustrated by Lucian Eyers – available by online ordering at www.sparky.co.uk A whole selection of illustrated poems. The website is worth visiting as there are a range of illustrated books that could make a lovely gift. We have gained permission from Lucian to list one of hisbeautiful poems…….that may bring a tear to your eye!

The Joy of Life

The baby lay within her arms
And knew his mother’s tears
Were shed not out of love for him
But fell from all her fears.
He asked his guardian angel,
“Can you make my Mummy smile?”
And he was told that patience
Will reveal this in a while.
The infant was determined
And insisted, “Help her now”.
The angel said “Great courage
You will need, so this is how.
You know not where you are
Or if the food upon your lips
Will cease to last, but now I ask,
You trust her then with this.
I ask you so to smile,
And know your mother loves you much.
But fear and her exhaustion
Brings a sadness that is such.
One day you’ll be a parent
Understanding how she feels,
So in her weary arms, my child,
The joy of life – reveal


Would you like to take part in a research study?

I am conducting a study at Royal Holloway, University of London, looking at first-time mothers’ experiences of childbirth and their emotional well being in the first post natal year. People respond to the experiences of labour and childbirth in a variety of different ways. Some parents may find the experience uplifting and rewarding, and others may find it difficult or upsetting. A small percentage of women may find unpleasant thoughts about the birth last into the first few months or years of parenthood.

I am interested in hearing about the experiences of mothers who feel that it was a difficult experience but that they have been able to put this event to the back of their minds. The study has two parts: (1) a postal questionnaire and (2) an interview with myself (for a small numbers of women). The interview can take part at Royal Holloway or at your home wherever is more convenient.

If your baby is 12 months old or younger, you live within approximately three hours of London and are interested in taking part, please contact Jane Iles (Trainee Clinical Psychologist) at [email protected] or on 07807 133117 for more information. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Thank you for your interest in this study.


The Association has been contacted by Take a Break magazine with information on a new website they have launched called
chums4mums.co.uk A social network that has been created for mums looking to share friendship or share difficulties you may be experiencing with new motherhood or symptoms of post natal depression. APNI is not associated with this facility in any way and must stress that any member should exercise caution when using the internet. If any members are interested in finding out more for the above services, please go directly to the magazine’s website address listed above.


A huge thank you for our very own Siobhan Merrifield for nominating our charity to Waitrose Supermarket in Fulham, to receive cash for tokens dropped into their collection boxes in the supermarket. APNI received more than £360!! Waitrose have a wonderful donation system for charities………that does not cost the shopper
a penny. When your shopping is paid for the cashier gives you a certain amount of tokens to drop into a choice of three different named charity boxes, and at the end of the month, the supermarket count the tokens and delivers a check to all of the charities based on the number of tokens. A huge thank you to Waitrose for this wonderful system. If any member would like to nominate APNI to their local branch of Waitrose, the charity may receive further cheques…….an absolute blessing in these hard pressed times.


Mr and Mrs. Tissington from Lancashire have been making marmalade for a number of years, and very kindly send us the profits. This thoughtful donation has been sent to the Association for more than 10 years. On behalf of everyone, may we say thank you very much for keeping our charity at heart.

If you feel you may be ready to be a volunteer for the Association – do please let us know. We are always in need of new volunteers that will be able to provide support for a mum who is currently suffering with post natal depression – If you have suffered previously yourself, and received support from a volunteer, you
may remember how important it is to have understanding from someone who knows how you are feeling, and be able to talk about inner thoughts without fear, on a completely confidential basis. So ladies – if you have suffered from post natal depression, are now recovered, and feel you would like to offer your services to support another mum by telephone, email or correspondence – please let us know and we will send an application form for you to complete. This will be a home based volunteer service.

And speaking of appeals………..May we ask if you are aware of any groups in your area to let us know? We often receive requests from mums’ who are looking for group meetings as part of their recovery plan, or for young mums looking for mother and baby groups. As these groups are often formed within the
voluntary sector, unless we are advised of their set up…..we are in the dark. So please ladies – do keep us up to date!

Thanks to everyone that have made donations to the Association. Very often we receive lovely surprises from mum’s who have raised funds from a variety of
activities……..from cake baking to participating in sponsored walk and races. Every donation, no matter how small, is very much appreciated and is vital to our running costs………..and I don’t mean in order that we have fat salaries and plush offices! If you have any items of news or interest that you would like included in the next newsletter please send in to the office famous quote for this newsletter is a tongue- in-cheek quote by Mark Twain

“A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, and wants it back the minute it begins to rain.”

And finally……may we take this opportunity of wishing you all peace, good health and happiness for the festive season and New Year

You are not alone, get in touch for some friendly advice, or just to talk through how you're feeling.

APNI is here to help you.

How to Donate

To make an online donation please click on the button below. This will take you through to our Just Giving page. All donations are appreciated however large or small.

Company Donations

If your company donates to charity, would you be able to put our association forward?

We rely heavily on donations so any help or sponsorship would be hugely appreciated! Thank you.

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